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The Agency of Architecture. A Profession between Service and Vision


Bideau A.

Course director

Bernardi A.



The ‘making’ of architecture encompasses a multitude of personal and political projects over time. The professional identity of those who make architecture ranges from authors to collectives, from craft to industry, from specificity to universality. As a central issue, the agency of architecture emerged in response to 19th century industrialization and urbanization. It has since resurfaced many times and continues to structure discourses that can embrace form-making, spatial organization or social activism. The evolution of contrasting professional identities has a long and rich history. How architecture conceptualizes our environment is intertwined with this history. Conversely, external factors shape both the discipline and the profession. Moreover, practice is conditioned by distinct audiences and power configurations. Which socioeconomic and political frameworks, then, determine the agency of architecture? When and where have such frameworks been challenged or effectively altered?


Critical and historical analysis of the issues discussed in the course.

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods


Examination information